Grappling lack of officers at the top level, the state government is now mulling to amend the rules governing the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) paving way for assigning Administrative Secretary posts to J&K cadre officers with less than 13 years of service.
Sources said the Governor’s administration has taken the Union Ministry of Personnel and Training on board on the proposed amendment which would help the government to curtail the additional charge syndrome currently affecting the top level administration in the State.
Sources said several Super Time Scale officers of Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) would also be assigned Secretary level posts through the proposed relaxation of rules.
As per official data, as many as 20 IAS and KAS officers are retiring this year from their services while IAS 11 officers are enjoying central deputation for years now.
As of now, the fixed strength of IAS officials in the state is 137 against availability of 84 officers which includes the 11 officers on central deputation.
Sources told Rising Kashmir that Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam has already apprised the Governor Satya Pal Malik led State Administrative Council (SAC), who in return have accorded sanction for relaxation of rules governing IAS services.
Sources said the Chief Secretary has told the SAC that certain departments cannot be kept vacant for long keeping in view their importance.
Following Chief Secretary’s briefing and in consultation with Union Ministry of Personnel and Training, the Governor led SAC is believed to have accorded their sanction to relax rules governing the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers to overcome the prevailing crisis.
However, sources said that a detailed proposal in this regard would be considered by the State Administrative Council (SAC) in its next meeting in which the decision would be announced.
As per the rules, an IAS officer becomes eligible for holding the post of Secretary on the completion of 13 years of service.
The IAS officers who completed 13 years of service early this year are already holding the posts of Secretary to Government or equivalent rank.
The relaxation of rules would also pave way for Super Time Scale KAS officers to be posted on Secretary level posts.
In respect of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, the Government has already granted this relaxation which is why 2007 batch IPS officers are currently holding the posts of DIG.
Rising Kashmir had last week reported that after the Model Code of Conduct there will be a mass reshuffle in the state administration which is likely to happen soon after the SAC in their next meeting gives go ahead to the relaxation of the IAS rules.
It is pertinent to mention that around 2900 gazetted posts including IAS, IPS, KAS, KPS, Professors, and Lecturers are lying vacant in the state affecting the work of officers' assigned additional charge.